Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010) Review

Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010) At A Glance


+Clever design for the boot floor. Four-star crash test rating. Good balance of ride comfort and roadholding.

-Adults will find the rear seats cramped. Flimsy trim. Mechanical problems, including Sensodrive.

Insurance Groups are between 4–19
On average it achieves 90% of the official MPG figure

Small car buyers are being spoiled for choice. First we had the pretty Peugeot 206. Then the Toyota Yaris, which hugely raised our expectations. Then the Skoda Fabia. And, this year, all in a rush, the Honda Jazz, the new Ford Fiesta, the new VW Polo and now the Citröen C3.

There are a few more to come, in the forms of the new SEAT Ibiza and new Nissan Micra. But here I'm going to concentrate on the cutely curvaceous Citröen C3, which arrives in the UK late April to early May.

You'll either like the shape or you won't. But you can't accuse Citröen of building boring cars that look like everyone else's. I quite like it, but the sharply fall-away front means you drive the windscreen rather than the front wings of the car.

Real MPG average for a Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

19–74 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

My car, which was written off (but repaired), has lost value - can I claim for this loss from my insurer?
"In December 2016, I was the victim of a rear end collision. The third party driver accepted full responsibility. My car is a 2008 Citroen C3 and the damage was such that my insurers wrote it off. However, as it was low mileage and in good condition (before the accident) I decided to have it repaired. The cost was around £700, which was approximately 50 per cent of the insured value. The third party's insurer reimbursed my excess and I understand that they reimbursed my insurer the cost of the repairs. I'm now looking to trade in my car and I'm finding, understandably, that the crash has reduced its value. Can I ask my insurers to reopen the case so that I can claim for the reduction in value? I've since changed insurers, so, if the claim can be reopened, would I be better off contacting the third party's insurer direct?"
Diminution in loss is something you can claim for and is covered under the case law Payton v Brooks. However, I highly doubt that your car has diminished in value. The car is already at a low value, so the effect on the value because it's been involved in an accident is virtually nil. Your car's trade in value is about £250-£500, irrespective of the previous damage. Plus, you chose to keep it despite it being written off. This would negate any claim. The action of claiming for diminution in loss is a complex area, so there are a number of things that need to be in place for it to be successful. If your claim has been settled in full and final settlement you would be inhibited from taking it further. If it filled the correct criteria, you could claim for diminution in loss. Yet, your particular claim fails in almost all respects.
Answered by Tim Kelly
I need a small car with comfortable suspension - any ideas?
"I am looking to buy a petrol Citroen C2 or C3 (1.1 or preferably 1.4). I want soft suspension. Roads in my country of Serbia are full of holes and imperfections and I don't want a car to be "braking my spine" while driving it. On some websites, it says that these cars have soft ride, and on some that they have bouncy ride. "What Car" says that C3's ride is refined, while Parkers say that is it unrefined. My parents have Dacia Sandero 1.4 (2009), and it has soft suspension. So, I know how it feels like (it is very good). What do you think? My question is, do C2 and C3 have softer, harder or basically the same suspension compared to Dacio Sandero? Also, as a bonus question, which one of these cars would you recommend for me? C2 or C3? I will use it mainly for commute (to work). 20km+20km a day, mainly on a highway (the section that goes through a city, so there is a lot of traffic and speeds rarely go above 80km/h there), and a bit of city diving. I will be using aircon a lot during summer. So I should probably go for 1.4 all things considered. I don't want deisels, because of so many problems and expensive faults. I am 28, and this will by my first car."
The Sandero is based on an older model Clio. The C3 is a Peugeot/Citroen design. Both have similar strut type front suspension and twist beam coil rear suspension. How well they ride depends on the spring rates and the profiles of the tyres. So any of these cars on 14 inch wheels with 65 profile tyres will ride better than on 15 inch wheels with 55 profile tyres and a lot better than on 16 inch wheels with 45 profile tyres. We were testing the latest range of Sanderos, Logan MCVs and Dusters in Croatia a couple of weeks ago. The Logans were all on sensible 15 inch wheels with 185/55 R15 tyres; the Sandero Stepway was on 16 inch wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres and the Duster was on 215/65 R16 mud and snow tyres. Forget the C2. You wont get decent ride quality out of that due to the short wheelbase.
Answered by Honest John
Should Citroen contribute to cambelt failure bill?
"Broken cam belt on 9 yr old car 109000 miles caused engine damage... car serviced for last 2 years by good independent garage but no recommendation was made by them to replace belt even though 2 services were done by them during the 2 years (1 big service at 87000 & 1 interim service at 98000). Citroen book says 100,000 or 10 yrs and I feel they should at least contribute to the repair costs because as professionals they would know the damage such a failure could cause..."
No. You should have followed my advice and had it done at 60k miles or 6 years max. You pushed your luck. Small garages do not generally recommend jobs like this to customers because the minimum cost of a timing belt, tensioner and waterpump is around £300 + VAT.
Answered by Honest John
2006 Citroen C3
" Search results for I bought a 2006 citroeon c3 5 months ago on finance. The car had 37k miles on the clock. last week i could smell burning rang the dealer took it to citroen to be told that it needed a new head gasket this was covered under the warranty however while the car was stripped down the mechanic told me it also required a new timing belt and water pump which would not be covered to a cost of 350. told them I was not paying.. They then said the water pump would be covered by the warranty. I spoke to the dealer who said the timing belt does not need replaced however I feel I am being fobbed off he said it was only common practice to change timing belt along with the water pump and was not essential I feel I am being fobbed off here and am not sure what to do now?"
Have it replaced then sue him for the cost of it afterwards using Small Claims. He is liable. Law here: Actually he's either being stupid or pig-headed because if the engine is in bits and both the head gasket and waterpump need to be replaced, then replacing a timing belt only adds the cost of the belt to the job, and that's usually only about £50.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Citroen C3 (2002 – 2010) cost?